A controversy involving a halfway house in Toledo turned into a debate over recent problems at the Toledo Correctional Institution on Tuesday.
The Ohiolink Correction and Treatment Center offers offenders 18 years and older the chance at a new start after substance abuse problems. They currently have 55 beds, but are asking city council to approve a special use permit to allow them to expand to 64 beds.
Council President Paula Hicks-Hudson urged a no vote.
"By expanding this to the 64, we are opening the door to potentially unintended consequences for other types of organizations that may come into our community," she said.
But Councilman Mike Craig reminded council of a resolution they passed just two weeks ago, demanding Governor John Kasich take steps to make the Toledo Correctional Institution safer after recent homicides of inmates.
"To ease the overcrowding, you actually have to let people out of prison and they have to go to transitional housing," Craig said. "That is the best place for them to go."
Councilman Joe McNamara also pushed for the expansion.
"They have a phenomenal success rate of helping ex-offenders not repeat-offend, and if we had more services like what Ohiolink provides, we wouldn't need as many prisons," he said.
Hicks-Hudson and Councilwoman Lindsay Webb voted no, but the other nine council members at the meeting approve the ordinance for expansion.